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Janali Gustafson, a 2013 Los Alamos High School graduate, is one of nine students to be published in the next issue of Scientific American Mind.
Gustafson is attending Quest University in Canada, located in Squamish, British Columbia, north of Vancouver.
Gustafson said the publication opportunity came while taking a rhetoric class during the fall semester. Karen Simring’s taught the class for first-year students and instructed them to write news articles about recent scientific studies. Nine students in the class were chosen based on the quality of the articles and on the magazine’s needs. Gustafson’s topic was how scientists erase drug-associated memory in mice.
“Janali really came into her own her last year of high school and entered Quest University ready to embrace the opportunities there, one of which was the chance to turn a class assignment into an article submission to Scientific American Mind,” father John Gustafson said.
Simring is one of the editors of the magazine. “It’s very exciting to know that at 19, I have already been published,” Gustafson said. “I am extremely grateful to Karen for giving me the opportunity.” She humbly said that she did not expect to get published.
“Janali’s article grew from a class assignment in Rhetoric, a required course for all first-year students. How many Universities offer freshmen the opportunity to study rhetoric with the editor of a national science magazine?” mother Sarah Gustafson said. “Getting published is just icing on the cake, but it’s indicative of Quest’s innovative approach to education. It’s a very exciting place.”
“Her choice of a topic that interested the editor shows her inquisitive nature and her professional-level writing reflects well on her ability and her LAHS instruction,” John Gustafson said.
Gustafson was interested in the memory study because of her own personal interests. “I am very interested in human anatomy and the psychological side of science,” she said.
Gustafson can add this accomplishment to the list of achievements she attained in high school. She was the 2012 Rotary Club Student of the Month in September. She also received the Kiwanis Scholarship in August 2013, and was involved in the Los Alamos Youth Leadership throughout her time in high school.
She is still testing the waters in college. “I haven’t decided on a major yet, but I am leaning toward psychology,” Gustafson said.
“I’m really happy she’s had this positive experience as a start to her college career; it’s great validation of the engaged, energetic and very capable person she is,” John Gustafson said.
“We’re very proud of Janali. She works hard in school, and it’s so satisfying to see her efforts rewarded. But we’re also very impressed with Quest,” Sarah Gustafson said.